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Yankees Game 141: Ellsbury, Sanchez power Tanaka to strong victory

Tampa Bay Rays 1 – New York Yankees 5

After two great wins, the Yankees entered today with six wins in a row and the postseason in sight.

Today’s game featured a matchup of aces as Chris Archer pitched for the Rays and Masahiro Tanaka pitched for the Yankees. The aces lived up to their billing in a Saturday pitcher’s duel. In the first inning, Masahiro Tanaka worked around a one-out double with a fly out of Evan Longoria and a strikeout of Brad Miller.

In the second inning, Starlin Castro led off with a double and advanced to third on a ground out. Unfortunately, a soft ground out by Rob Refsnyder held him at third and a strikeout of Tyler Austin kept the game scoreless.

The pitchers went scoreless head-to-head until both pitchers got into hot water in the sixth inning.

Logan Forsythe led off with a double and advanced to third base on a sacrifice by Nick Franklin. With a runner on third, Evan Longoria hit a line drive to right field that Rob Refsnyder caught charging in and following up with a throw home to hold Forsythe at third. A ground out by Brad Miller ended the inning with the runner stranded on third. Archer needed to respond but the Yankees struck hard and fast against the Rays’ ace.

In the sixth inning, Brett Gardner led off with a single against Archer. With a favorable 2-1 count, Jacoby Ellsbury took Archer deep to right field for a two-run home run. Before Archer could get right, Gary Sanchez went left-center for a solo home run to put the Yankees ahead by three.

After an efficient seventh inning by Masahiro Tanaka, the Rays managed to end the shutout. With one out in the eighth inning, Bobby Wilson hit a home run just out of the reach of Brett Gardner in left field for the first Rays run of the day. Following a hit batter, Tanaka was removed from the game. Adam Warren came on and found himself in more trouble when he hit Nick Franklin with a pitch to bring the potential go-ahead run in potent bat, Evan Longoria. Adam Warren induced a ground ball from Longoria that turned into an inning-ending double play to keep the 3-1 lead.

In 7 1/3 innings, Masahiro Tanaka allowed one run on five hits. He walked none and struck out a season-high 10 in today’s outstanding start.

Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single against lefty reliever Enny Romero. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ground-rule double down the left field line to put two in scoring position with no outs. Ideally, the Rays wanted Enny Romero to intentionally walk Gary Sanchez but a hanging 52 MPH pitchout got too close to the plate and Sanchez drove it to deep center field. The fly ball on the warning track was deep enough for both runners to advance for the sacrifice fly. Didi Gregorius made it a four-run game on another sacrifice fly as the Yankees gave themselves more wiggle room.

In the ninth inning, Richard Bleier got the first two outs before Corey Dickerson added a single to extend the inning and the game. Tyler Clippard came in and got Steven Souza to ground out for the final out of the game.

The Yankees have won seven in a row.


Win – Masahiro Tanaka (13-4)

Loss – Chris Archer (8-18)



*Logan Forsythe – 1 for 3, 2B

*Corey Dickerson – 2 for 4


*Jacoby Ellsbury – 2 for 4, 2 R, 2B, Two-run home run (8) in the 6th, 2 RBI (51)

*Gary Sanchez – 1 for 2, R, BB, Solo home run (13) in the 6th, 2 RBI (24)


Current Yankees Record: 76-65